ASHLAND — Ashland painter Robin Roberts crossed the state border and brought home top honors from an art exhibition in Grand Traverse, Michigan.

Paint Grand Traverse (Michigan) is an annual plein air (outdoor) painting festival and competition in which 40 selected artists from across the nation are challenged to interpret the region’s beauty and character by painting outside and capturing the moment’s ephemeral qualities.

Cherry, Cherry

Cherry, Cherry, a painting by Roberts of Ashland, won Best of Show. A 16 x 20 oil on Raymar panel, it was painted on the Old Mission Peninsula along Smokey Hollow Road.

“Looking for a subject to paint, I turned onto a random road and saw this cherry, red-colored barn nestled among a cherry orchard, hence the name, Cherry, Cherry,” Roberts said. “I am honored the judge chose my painting for the top award.

“While this was not a typical plein air competition, I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially since it was one of only a few that were not canceled this year.”

Due to Covid-19, this year’s event, called Paint Grand Traverse 2020: Virtually Beautiful, was hybrid — both online and in person. Artists spent a weekend painting in downtown Traverse City and on Old Mission Peninsula. Their paintings were then made available to online shoppers and are currently on exhibit at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Traverse City, Michigan.

The paintings may be viewed at this link.

Roberts has been painting in oil and watercolor for several years, concentrating in plein air painting since 2009. In the month of September, he is taking on the challenge of completing one painting every day.

Roberts also received an Honorable Mention for the painting Dilapidated currently being shown in The May Show at the Mansfield Art Center and a Merit Award at the Kekionga Plein Air Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Roberts is available to teach or demonstrate and his artwork can be seen at his home by appointment, at, or on Facebook and Instagram.

Contact Robin Roberts at 419-606-1620 for more information.

The Life section is supported by Brethren Care Village in Ashland.

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